MAUREEN BREEZE DANCE THEATER
Presenting Denver would like to shine the spotlight on Maureen Breeze and Maureen Breeze Dance Theater!
Choreographer Name: Maureen Breeze
Company Name: Maureen Breeze Dance Theater
Hometown: Denver, CO
Current city you live in: Denver, CO
Education: Claremont McKenna College, Claremont, CA Major in International Economics Minor in Mathematics
Current Occupation: Choreographer
Company Website: www.maureenbreezedancetheater.org
Presenting Denver: How does this piece relate, or not, to your previous work?
Maureen Breeze: The working title of the piece I’m creating for the festival is “Keeping Score.” As an artist, I’m fascinated by the dynamics of how humans connect, relate and engage with one another. These themes show up in the majority of my work. In some pieces, I bring ordinary settings to the stage to illuminate these ideas, including elevators, airports and 1950s diners. Other times, I explore more abstract concepts to map the human experience of connection and isolation including migration, shifting of seasons, and the changing states of water (mist, rain, freeze and thaw). In “Keeping Score” my goal is to examine the primal experience of competition and how it drives human behavior. Competition both binds and divides us, and is a universal force that brings out both the best and worst in human nature. I look forward to exploring how this concept comes to life on stage.
PD: If you ever have free time, how do you spend it?
MB: I love to observe people. One of my favorite things to do is to travel to a new city and sit in a busy cafe, watching people come and go. I love to experience the unfamiliar and familiar at the same time. These observations tend to find their way into my creative work.
PD: What do you hope your audience takes away from this piece?
MB: I hope the audience will both laugh and reflect. Perhaps they’ll see aspects of their own nature being expressed. Perhaps they’ll witness aspects of loved ones being expressed. My hope is that they are moved to reflect on how competition influences and impacts the way the ways we all move through the world together.
PD: What have you learned from a disappointment in dance? (And what was it, if you feel comfortable sharing a little vulnerability that you’ve overcome?)
MB: One of the hardest parts about creating in this art form is the ephemeral nature of dance. You might spend months (or years) creating a work, and once it’s performed, it’s done and the magic of bringing it to life dissipates. It doesn’t live on in the same way a book, painting or poem does. Many years ago I was fortunate to collaborate on an evening length piece with a dear friend, Carmela Weber. After the piece premiered, we’d hoped to take it to NYC. It looked like it was going to happen and then the deal fell apart. Time passed and the team of collaborators went their own ways. It was hard to see the project that I was so emotionally invested in come to an end. But that is how it works, I’ve learned. I’ve come to accept that you create a new dance work for the moment.
PD: How were you first introduced to dance, and what did you think at the time?
MB: I studied ballet as a child and always loved to move. However, I was ‘captured’ by the art form when I got to college and discovered modern dance. I loved the intensity, gravity and grit of this type of movement. During my junior year, I was going through a transformative time and couldn’t express how I was feeling. I lacked a vocabulary to talk about it. So I started to think about how I’d choreograph the experience, and a new world opened up to me. Using movement, lights and sound to explore a deep inner experience was a revelation. I was hooked from that moment on.
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